Barbara Morrison. Courtesy Blue Lady Records.


I sure do hate having to write that, again, still, but what are ya gonna do? It’s our world now, where going to hear live music (one of the very best things a human can do… fully clothed) has become a matter of great planning, precaution and possible danger.

So, be careful, but there are a few possibilities that I will continue to list, because the fully vaxed should know there are some great shows still available out there. Hell, this is LA, the live music capital of the universe. (Yeah the Star Wars bar band swings, but, limited repertoire. And they need a better drummer. Steve Mugalian? Possibly the only band he’s never played with.)


Jacaranda, our groundbreaking local new (and old) music program, canceled their upcoming Jan. 22 performance of “Gratitude,” the second in their “Turning Point” series, for which they had already assembled quite an ensemble. Ironically, for consideration of the raging resurgence of COVID, because the performance was meant to honor LA County’s Director of Public Health Dr. Barbara Ferrer for her leadership. They are planning on being able to pull off the next one in mid-March, but who knows anything these days? I’ve attended many of their concerts over the past few years and highly recommend them for the musically open-minded. Jacaranda holds forth at the acoustically wonderful First Presbyterian Church in DTSM, on Fourth Street. Convenient across the street access from the City parking structure, for those of us who don’t go everywhere by bike, scooter or skateboard, and dare to still drive a car occasionally in Santa Monica.

The outstanding jazz club near LAX, with the odd name of Sam First, recently announced that “Due to the current Covid-19 situation, Sam First is closed for at least a few weeks. In the meantime we are live-streaming from the club.”

The cool and very cozy best-kept secret Cinema Bar still seems shuttered, to judge by the website. Great place for live music, formerly seven nights a week, never a cover. We need the Hot Club of Los Angeles back Monday nights, don’t we Dan?


TONIGHT! – THE BONEDADDYS – When I moved to LA in 1980 this innovative, genre mixing, rockin’ funkin’ band was already an institution. (Or, possibly, recently released from one.) Founding member and percussive force to be reckoned with, the aptly named Mike Tempo, still drives the beat. You’ve never seen them? They’re now in their sixth decade. It’s not often life gives you such a second chance. They’re just down the street on Lincoln. Don’t blow it. Tonight, Thurs 8 p.m., Venice West, $10.

I don’t know what happened to Venice West’s booking of ORIANTHI for Friday but it has disappeared from their calendar, and I am very disappointed. I’ve been watching her on videos for years, collaborating with some of the best players (and a few of the worst – hey, it’s a gig, a paycheck) but I really want to catch her live. She shreds an electric guitar like almost no one else, finally and absolutely settling the age old question (to some) of whether or not you need “big balls” to be a rock guitar star. AC/DC claimed the territory in their song by the same name, but also allowed for female dominance as well. God bless AC/DC. They’re all Aussies – maybe they already knew of her when they wrote the song?

Lenore Raphael Trio featuring BARBARA MORRISON – all I know about the Lenore Raphael Trio is that Barbara Morrison is fronting them and that’s good enough for me. Another LA musical treasure, performing 60 years, that not everyone knows about. She is a jazz and blues, soul and R&B singer of the highest echelon, and this club designed and owned by Herb Alpert, gorgeous, spacious, with great sound and sight lines and live music every night, is one of the best places to see any act. Sun 7 p.m., Vibrato Grill, Beverly Glen, $30.

LA PHIL with Michael Tilson Thomas, EMANUEL AX plays BRAHMS – I know we’ve all fallen deeply in love with The Dude(amel), but MTT ably led our great orchestra for many years, Ax is one of the best classical pianists on the planet, and Brahms, “Piano concerto No. 1,” with a little Berg and MAHLER’s “Blumine” thrown in – well, whaddaya want? Next Thurs 8 p.m, Walt Disney Concert Hall, DTLA, $71-229.

COMING ATTRACTIONS: LA PHIL with Michael Tilson Thomas, EMANUEL AX plays BRAHMS, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 1/13, 14, 16; RACHAEL & VILRAY, Troubadour, 1/16; 15th Annual SoCal SLACK KEY FESTIVAL, Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1/16; LA PHIL with Michael Tilson Thomas, GERALD CLAYTON plays Symphonic ELLINGTON, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 1/20, 21; PONCHO SANCHEZ, Venice West, 1/22; COLIN BLUNSTONE, Joe Wong, The Downtown Palace Theatre, 1/22; SARAH SILVERMAN & Friends, Largo at the Coronet 1/22; ITZAK PERLMAN, Rohan De Silva, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 1/26; BJORK, Shrine Auditorium, 1/26, 29, 2/2; NATHANIEL RATELIFF & The Night Sweats The Novo, 1/28; THE ENGLISH BEAT, The Bourbon Room, 1/28, 29; RAUL MALO, The Canyon Agoura Hills 1/28, The Canyon Santa Clarita 1/30; MUSICARES honors JONI MITCHELL, LA Convention Center, 1/29; FEE WAYBILL, Troubadour, 1/29; JOHN MAYALL, Venice West, 1/30; NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALL STARS, Venice West, 2/2; BARBARA MORRISON, Vibrato, 2/13; PETE ESCOVEDO, Vibrato, 2/20.

Charles Andrews has listened to a lot of music of all kinds, including more than 2,000 live shows. He has lived in Santa Monica for 34 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at